A brooding, electric celebration of the pop spectrum. Swirling guitar melodies and classical songwriting, all designed for listener catharsis.
Second record from Melbourne quartet founded by ex-Witch Hats guitarist Tom Barry and including guitarist Keith Mason (White Woods), drummer Tom Coleman (Pageants) and bassist Tom Briglia (Creaks, Sissysocks). Follows 2011’s self-titled mini-LP.
“On the continuum of jangly Melbourne-based bands, you’d place Parading towards the end that has the blown-out amps and tinnitus. Although they share certain similarities with Twerps or Peak Twins—languid tempos, murmured vocals, dreamy melodies—there’s also an element of classic shoegaze to their sound, bringing to mind the fuzzy drugged-out vibes of Slowdive or Mazzy Star. It’s a sound I’m very partial to and Swallowing A Sunflower, just released by Birds Love Fighting Records, is a good chance to see whether Parading can live up to the promise of single ‘Country Song’ and an “amiably omnipotent” live show.
Basically, it does. There’s a sense of exhilaration as the early distorted rumblings of opener ‘Apollo’ form themselves into a spacey head-nodding jam, and it doesn’t really let up over the course of the record.
Singer and guitarist Tomas Barry delivers vocals with the affected urgency of a strung-out addict and in true shoegaze fashion is happy to sit back in the mix and let the guitar pyrotechnics take centre stage (sometimes literally, in the case of several instrumentals throughout the album). They’ve clearly spent some time on their guitar tones, which range from ringing harmonic distortion to spacey ambience and even some acoustic touches on ‘Country Song’.
Many bands working with the expressionist timbre of shoegaze tend to write music that further abstracts their sound—odd melodies and unusual chords adding to that other worldy vibe. In an important step away from their obvious influences, Parading seem very happy to serve up old-school song craft. Songs ring out with big, open chords following on from each other in honest progressions. Some of it brings the anthemic tunes of 90s Britpop to mind, and I really don’t mean that in a bad way. There’s a heritage to these songs that anchors them down in the obtuse ocean of guitar fuzz—I can’t imagine many other shoegaze bands giving a dirgey yet faithful rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s‘Factory’.
Swallowing A Sunflower is a blissed out departure from Melbourne’s indie rock norm—there’s not much around like it.’
MNIELSON – THE RIPE